Apps and Network Coverage: Think About How Users will Connect to your Services.
A successful mobile UC service needs guaranteed coverage to ensure the best user experience, but app-based services cannot guarantee this if they can’t default to pure GSM when data is unavailable. In today’s app-hungry world, don’t overlook the need for hybrid connectivity modes and the ability to support customers as they move between coverage zones.
Our team is back from the latest MVNO conference in Bangkok, chock full of ideas and new opportunities. In addition to meeting current and future clients, these events are an excellent opportunity to gauge the market and identify new trends that are likely to shape the industry in the coming months.
One thing that was blindingly obvious from the event was a significant emphasis in mobile client applications. Thanks to the rise of smartphones, business users are not only familiar with apps but are accustomed to using them for their key processes and solutions. Mobile is no different. Everyone wants a clever application from which they can access their service solution.
It’s now a mandatory requirement to provide a client application that spans multiple operating systems and which delivers easy access to advanced functionality. Apps extend core hosted features directly to the device, giving more control to users, simplifying the experience and enhancing efficiency.
However, it’s worth noting that an app isn’t everything. There are many solutions that are dependent on the application in order to function correctly. These rely on data connections for every function, including the basic one of delivering voice calls to the user. While LTE coverage is spreading, it is not sufficiently widespread to guarantee 100% coverage. There is still a critical requirement to be able to access the underlying GSM / UMTS network to guarantee connectivity – and hence reachability.
A data only solution simply will not work if there is no data connection available. Indeed, this article is being written from a train – while there is supposed to be WiFi coverage, it isn’t working, and the mobile connectivity is, currently, 2G with no data.
This is the reality of offering a country-wide service. If you are an MNO or MVNO, then this problem will be familiar to you. Not all of your customers are comfortable located in urban areas – and we could comment on the patchy coverage that is the norm in many European cities.
That’s why mobile UC apps need to be supported by a combination of conventional GSM voice connectivity as well as higher speed access where it’s available. A mobile UC service that relies solely on data connectivity will be extremely limiting and will inevitably lead to considerable customer dissatisfaction and a poor experience all round.
If you are considering launching a mobile UC offer, don’t be fooled by a shiny application alone. Of course, you will want to include one as part of your offer (and we have just the application you need), but you must make sure that the service can operate effectively over GSM as well as rich data (LTE / WiFi) coverage. Data only services cannot deliver the coverage, performance and experience you want. Coverage matters.
At Gintel, we have decades of experience in delivering advanced UC services in mobile networks. This translates into the ability to help you launch a compelling UC offer that can work in any connected environment, enabling to you address more of the market and to target more potential customers – leading, in the end, to a better, more profitable business. If you want to find out more, get in touch!